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March 15, 2021.
posted in Divorce

On behalf of The Law Office of Gustavo E. Frances, P.A.

A gray divorce is a regular divorce but it happens when you’re over 50 and you’ve been married a long time. While the process may be basically the same, the important aspects are somewhat different due to the age of the couple and the longevity of the marriage.

At this point, any children are mostly grown. There may be a large amount of accumulated property that needs to be divided. And most parties are closer to the ends of their careers than the beginnings. Thus, future financial and health care considerations become more relevant.

A Fort Lauderdale divorce attorney experienced in representing parties ending a long-term marriage understands the unique needs of his clients at this stage of their lives and will make sure those needs are adequately provided for in a divorce proceeding.

Gray Divorce is Becoming More Common

According to the most recent research, the divorce rate of couples over 50 has more than doubled since 1990. And for couples 65+ the divorce rate is almost triple. Smartasset.com reports that Fort Lauderdale, FL ranks 17th among US cities with the most divorced seniors per senior population. Of the seniors 65+ living in Fort Lauderdale, 22% are divorced.

Here are a few reasons that explain why older couples are becoming more likely to call it quits.

  • Baby Boomers in 2nd marriages: Baby Boomers still make up a big chunk of the ‘gray’ population and the divorce rate for persons 50+ in second marriages is twice that of those 50+ in first marriages.
  • Each spouse is able to be financially independent: Spouses are not as likely to stay together for financial support.
  • Empty nest/retirement: With the children gone and without work as a distraction there is nothing left in common or to talk about.
  • Longer lifespan/different goals: One party is content to ride into the sunset in an easy chair and one party is fired up to finally start that business she always dreamed of.

Significant Issues in a Gray Divorce

Due to the length of the marriage and the age of the parties, future opportunities to earn income and health conditions are likely to factor into how the property is apportioned and the ongoing financial obligations one party may have for the support of the other.

  • Ongoing support for the spouse with lesser earning capacity: If one spouse has been the primary breadwinner the other spouse is often entitled to alimony which may include the purchase of life insurance by the paying spouse. Retirement benefits may also need to be divided.
  • Health insurance or health care costs: One spouse may have been on the other’s health insurance and that benefit will end leaving one spouse needing healthcare coverage.
  • Property division: Because of the length of time the couple has been married and things getting mixed together through the years, it may be more difficult to determine whether to characterize property as marital or non-marital.
  • Responsibility for cost of education or support for adult children: While not legally obligated, the parties may decide they want to provide continued support and make their agreement formal.

How to Make Sure You’re Protected in a Gray Divorce

A gray divorce means big changes in the lives of both parties. It can be a very unsettling disruption at a time when comfort and security are becoming most important. At The Law Office of Gustavo E. Frances, P.A., our Fort Lauderdale divorce lawyer knows how daunting a prospect it can be to start over or move on from a long-term marriage. Our team is here to help make sure our clients are able to get what they need to make a fresh start and feel confident about moving forward with their lives. Contact us for a free consultation of your case by clicking here or calling 954-533-2756.

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